Retirement Insights Blog

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Gary-WWe started our blog, Retirement Insights, because we feel passionately that you should never invest in a financial product without understanding exactly what you’re getting. Here, you’ll find insightful and easy-to-understand articles about retirement planning, and investment tips and financial advice for retirees. We work hard to make sure that our blog can be your resource for finding solutions to real-life problems you might encounter during retirement.

Written by our Retirement Insights Specialist, Gary W., the below articles are here for you to explore. We update our blog with multiple new posts per week, so there’s always something new to learn.

Why Selling Fixed Annuities for a Cash Lump Sum May Not be a Good Choice

Jul 1, 2016

You may have seen the commercials on TV about selling your annuity for cash. This is a business format that’s about as old as annuities themselves. These companies will offer to buy a stream of future payments that your annuity provides from you in exchange for a lump sum of cash. One problem is that these transactions are usually designed to make money for the company buying your annuity, rather than ensuring you get the best value for that annuity. Selling your annuity might seem like a good idea in a pinch, but in the end, it could cost a lot more than you anticipated.

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Social Security benefits

Using Immediate Annuities to Guarantee Retirement Income While Delaying Social Security Benefits

Jun 23, 2016

While you might be eligible to take benefits at age 62, some experts would recommend you don’t. That’s because the earlier you take them, the less you usually get.

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fixed, deferred annuity

Purchasing a Fixed, Deferred Annuity in an IRA Can Help You Manage RMDs in Retirement

Jun 17, 2016

Some financial planners will advise you never to do this because it’s redundant, but there are times when it might be beneficial, especially when it comes to managing your required minimum distributions later on. Before you write off purchasing an annuity in an IRA, you should consider how it could impact you for the life of your IRA.

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2016 Fiduciary Rule

How the 2016 Fiduciary Rule Could Affect How You Pay for Retirement Advice

May 3, 2016

This year, the Department of Labor passed new regulations that, in essence, say insurance agents and advisors may be held to a fiduciary standard if they provide advice regarding retirement accounts such as IRAs.

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2016 Federal Reserve Bond Interest Rates

What the 2016 Federal Reserve Bond Interest Rates May Mean for Fixed Annuities in the Long Term

May 23, 2016

Insurance companies are able to set a pre-determined interest rate and even go as far as to guarantee it. One way insurance companies make these guarantees is through the bond market and the interest rates that the Federal Reserve sets on their government bond offerings.

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Addressing the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 Pension Changes With Supplemental Retirement Annuities

May 10, 2016

We’ve received an increasing number of calls from clients over the past year worried about funding their retirement after their employer either significantly scaled back the corporate pension plan or eliminated it altogether. For a long time, corporate pension programs were a major source of retirement funding for employees all over the United States. These pension programs would allow the company to finance their employees’ retirement through regular payments, much like in an individually owned annuity.

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Planning for Health Care expenses in Retirement

Jun 26, 2017

What’s the best way to wreck your retirement budget? How about unexpected medical expenses? Ask any financial planner and, he or she will likely say that most couples are not prepared for the financial disruption that could come with an expected or catastrophic illness. Twenty-eight percent of Americans said their greatest fear in retirement is…

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Do a little research before you buy that retirement home

Jun 7, 2017

It’s a dream that many of us have. The kids have graduated from college and settled into their new homes and new jobs. Retirement is around the corner. Now that you are empty nesters, that big house in the suburbs no longer works for you and your spouse. So, finally, it’s your chance to get…

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Is it Smart to Borrow From Your 401(k)

Aug 25, 2017

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, in 2015, 20 percent of Americans have an  outstanding loan balance on their 401(k) and 37 percent have had loans in the past five years. Ten percent of those borrowers defaulted and a whopping 86 percent of borrowers left their company with an outstanding balance, according to…

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Biggest Mistakes Couples Make

Jan 11, 2017

A successful marriage is all about communication. So, it make sense that the same can be said about a successful retirement. Retirement planning is tough enough, but when it comes to couples some of the biggest mistakes can be related to the lack of communications, according to the financial planners surveyed for the 2015 Fidelity…

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Do a little research before you buy that retirement home

Jun 7, 2017

It’s a dream that many of us have. The kids have graduated from college and settled into their new homes and new jobs. Retirement is around the corner. Now that you are empty nesters, that big house in the suburbs no longer works for you and your spouse. So, finally, it’s your chance to get…

>> Read Full Story

There’s more to retirement than saving your money

May 25, 2017

It’s complicated, this retirement thing. It sneaks up on you, and many of us aren’t quite ready. We haven’t saved enough, didn’t plan enough or we just haven’t figured out what we will do with all that time suddenly thrust upon us. Saving for retirement is difficult enough. Many surveys show that Americans have saved…

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Is it Smart to Borrow From Your 401(k)

Aug 25, 2017

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, in 2015, 20 percent of Americans have an  outstanding loan balance on their 401(k) and 37 percent have had loans in the past five years. Ten percent of those borrowers defaulted and a whopping 86 percent of borrowers left their company with an outstanding balance, according to…

>> Read Full Story

Emergency Budget

Aug 22, 2017

There are many Americans who are not saving and, for these people, even a small unexpected expense will likely cause a financial setback. A survey of 1,000 Americans by Bankrate said nearly 60 percent of Americans would not be able to pay an unexpected emergency expense from their savings. Forty-five percent of those surveyed said…

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